After watching the well done video in the Visitor Center theatre, and viewing the artifacts and information in the small exhibit hall, you can tour the grounds of the once "capital" city of the Cherokees. Here you'll find the Cherokee Supreme Court, Council House and site of a printing press that turned out the Phoenix newspaper printed in Cherokee and English. Most of the buildings are reconstructions, but done with the help of original plans and archaeological evidence that brings them back into life. A ranger or well informed volunteer tour guide would have been a big help. I had to keep checking my memory of facts picked up from the film and exhibit hall to recognize the significance of what I was seeing. Visiting the Chief Vann House 15 miles to the north prior to New Echota helped me establish the context of the town and its significance. It was remarkable to be able to stand in the area where the treaty that brought on the Trail of Tears was signed by a small sub-group of Cherokee leaders who felt that moving west was the best of any bad deal they might get from the government. While Elias Boudinot's house is not standing, the four corners of its foundations are marked and a sign acknowledges this was the location of the signing. All of these leaders were later assassinated in Indian Territory once the forced migration of the Cherokee was completed some years later. Boudinot's brother will later become a Confederate general during the Civil War. The informative exhibits make no excuses for the behavior of Georgia politicians and national politicians in treating the Cherokee so badly. It is pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court backed the right of the Cherokee to keep their land, but that Andrew Jackson replied, "They have made their decision, now who is going to enforce it?" Little wonder that more traditional Cherokees today will not handle $20 bills that bear Jackson's picture. Be sure to walk all the way to the back of the town to see the Worcester home, the only original structure still extant. The missionary living here was arrested for being on Cherokee land without a Georgia government permit and imprisoned. This is a significant historical point and its within a few minutes of I-75. Well worth a quick visit.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.